At Harris Bricken, we keep close tabs on what is happening around the world, and we know that our friends and clients do, as well. We are happy to provide this podcast series: Global Law and Business, hosted by international attorneys Fred Rocafort and Jonathan Bench, where we look at the world by talking with business leaders, innovators, service providers, manufacturers, and government leaders around the world.
- Mareo’s voracious reading habits
- What’s different between and what’s consistent across sales environments around the world
- How Mareo’s company, MoveMedical, “solves” the medical device industry
- Dealing with rejection
- Mareo’s upcoming book, Really Care for Them: How Everyone Can Use the Power of Caring to Earn Trust, Grow Sales, and Increase Income. No Matter What You Sell or Who You Sell It To
- Listening, and watching recommendations from:
This podcast audio has been transcribed by an automatic transcriber.
Fred Rocafort 0:07
Global law and global business go hand in hand, but never seem to keep pace with each other. The importance on the global stage of developing and developed nations waxes and wanes, while consumption and interconnectedness steadily increase all the while laws and regulations change incessantly requiring businesses to stay nimble. But how do we make sense of it all? Welcome to Global Law and Business hosted by Harris Bricken International Business attorneys. I’m Fred Rocafort.
Jonathan Bench 0:37
and I’m Jonathan Bench. Every week, we take a targeted look at legal and economic developments in locales around the world as we try to decipher global trends in law and business with the help of international experts. We cover continents, countries, regimes, governance, finance, legal developments, and whatever is trending on Twitter. We cover the important, the seemingly unimportant, the relatively simple and the complex.
Fred Rocafort 1:02
We hope you enjoy today’s podcast. Please connect with us on social media to comment and suggest future topics and guests.
Jonathan Bench 1:22
Today we’re joined by Mareo McCracken, the chief Revenue Officer at Move Medical where he guides to sales, marketing and customer success efforts. Mareo is also a good friend, and very happy to have him on the podcast with us today. Mareo, welcome.
Mareo McCracken 1:35
Hey, thanks, honored to be here. This is great.
Jonathan Bench 1:38
We’d love to start out by having you tell us a little more about your background. How did you get to where you are now Where’d you come from? Where do you hope you’re going?
Mareo McCracken 1:48
So at Move Medical, where I kind of lead the sales, marketing and customer success efforts, it’s kind of an all in one package for helping the company align everything we do with the customers needs. And so that’s current clients, future clients and everything in between. So that’s, that’s my focus. And kind of how I got here was, I’ve been in lots of different sales and marketing roles throughout my career, whether that’s in finance, or global commodities, or high tech software, or financial management services, or even animal feed. So lots of different industries, manufacturing, and they all kind of eventually what I learned is that no matter what you’re selling, there’s kind of some similarities. And as long as you can translate those similarities, you can kind of find a way to do a good job.
Fred Rocafort 2:39
Mareo, first of all, welcome to the podcast, definitely want to talk a little bit more about about sales, and then what you just said about these skills that in some ways are can transfer across industries. But before we do that, and I think it’s very fitting that today we are we are recording, not just the audio, but the video because we have that great visual of your your bookshelves behind you. And I’d like to ask you about reading my understanding is that you consider reading to be an essential part of your of your life, and that you have some things you want to share with us about that. I mean, I all start off by saying that I theoretically speaking I am sure I won’t have any objections to to the to whatever you have to say regarding the importance of reading I maybe have fallen off the wagon and years and years past but but please tell us about what you like to read what role that plays into in your in your life and your professional activities. And why it’s important perhaps for for some, you know, if you’re speaking to, to folks that perhaps don’t incorporate reading into their into their lives as much as they should what what are what are they missing out on?
Mareo McCracken 4:11
Well, that’s a loaded question for sure. So reading is important to me, because there’s only so many mistakes that you can make in 24 hours and learn from them. So reading helps you learn faster by learning from other people’s mistakes. So when you do it yourself and you get experience, it stays with you longer. And I think that’s one reason why you have to read and reread so many times because it takes you longer to learn other people’s lessons, but at least it’s a chance to learn them because there’s no way you’re going to experience every single thing and so reading just helps you experience other things and that’s fiction or nonfiction like because how other authors portray characters in fiction especially, it’s still a thought process is still human or fantasy, whatever it’s it’s it’s interaction between people and that interaction teaches you a lot about how you would react and how other people react. So reading i think is for me, and people. I know you do like to read a lot, it’s a game changer in how in your thought process, it changes how you think about problems, which then just allows you to hopefully pursue better alternatives than just what’s right in front of you.
Fred Rocafort 5:13
Would you have perhaps an example or two of reads that you’ve, you’ve enjoyed over the years that have had that that effect, perhaps just to just to offer a concrete example of how that vicarious learning can take place?
Mareo McCracken 5:33
Yeah, so just recently, there’s a, it’s kind of a new series, maybe been out four or five years, Jack Carr. He’s an author who’s a former Navy SEAL, and he wrote a book a series of books about a former navy seal. So it’s totally fiction. But and the situation is that this man his main character, is placed in are realistic at all for 99.9% of the people. But you, no matter how far fetched it is, you feel you can connect with that character on some level, because some part of every experience is something that you’ve gone through. And lots of the times these, these, so in my current profession, I sell complex enterprise software to really, really, really big companies. And these really, really big companies have lots of people who are doers who go get lots of stuff done. But at the end of the day, they’re not the decision maker. And in these books, this main character has to deal with a lot of those type of people who are just there to finish the job and do the assignment, even though they’re not the final decision makers. And so he has to learn how to navigate through different types of people, while still knowing that they’re not the final decision maker. So and I can perceive that every day in the in the job that I have on on my day job is every single day, I’m working with those type of people. And so just putting myself in those shoes, even though it’s totally different situations, it helps me take a step back and try to practice empathy, I guess you could say, but yeah, there’s that’s just one example. There’s the Jack Carr kind of series right now has really, I see a lot of parallels and what I do on a daily basis, even though I’m not a navy seal.
Jonathan Bench 7:05
Mareo, how many books do you read in a month? I know I’ve asked you this before?
Mareo McCracken 7:11
Yeah, it varies, but I probably read, I don’t know, just depends. But on a good month, it’ll be eight to 12.
Jonathan Bench 7:19
Amazing, amazing. My consumption is all audio book based. And so I remember you, I think asking a question on LinkedIn, maybe a year or two ago, and you said, How many books are you reading right now you asked this kind of to your general audience. How many books are you reading right now? He said, and I count audiobooks in books. And you just kind of generally lamented that the reading is, is becoming a lost art, you know, people sitting and thinking deeply, is somewhat of a lost art. And so I that resonated with me, as someone who grew up reading voraciously, and then feeling like I was getting busier and busier in my life and having the reading time cut out. That, that resonated, right. And so I put, I put that back at the top of my list of things to do. And when I mostly when I’ve got I’m full of little kids still. So when I’m when I’m doing dishes at night, or folding laundry, that’s when I consume my books. And sometimes they’re long, sometimes they’re short, but I attribute my, say, my renaissance in reading and interest in growing for myself to that post on LinkedIn. I don’t know if I ever told you that.
Mareo McCracken 8:23
That’s cool. No, he never told me. And definitely audible is considered reading for sure, especially for people like me who I’m an auditory learner. So I remember things way better when somebody speaks them. To me, when I hear something I remember way better when I read it, or even if I write it, I’m an auditory learner. So lots of people have different learning styles. And you got to figure out what works best for you. Some people have to read it physically, right? But yeah, depending on what your learning style is, or what you’re capable of doing. Read, there’s no wrong way to read.
Jonathan Bench 8:51
So let’s switch topics to international team management in sales management. You’ve met teams in London, Hong Kong across America. Can you talk about how sales strategies have differed across these different areas of the world? Do you think that different cultures respond in different ways to different sales tactics? I’m very curious to hear your thoughts on that.
Mareo McCracken 9:10
So on a general level, no, it’s not different at all. But on the on the my new level, and then managing your internal team. There’s huge differences that are found. Because people in general, they just want to feel important. They want to feel like you’re taking care of them that you’re honest, that you’re meeting their needs, all those things, and how you show that though, can change. And so in some areas, and even it’s not just international only it’s even in different parts of the United States. But in some areas, giving gifts is seen as bribery. Whereas in other parts of the world, it’s seen as something you have to do in order to just open the door. It’s rude. So one example is in Brazil, especially if you go visit someone for the first time and you don’t bring something to them. That’s kind of rude. And that’s not just in business that’s in business too. But it’s also in personal life, too. If you go to somebody’s house and you Don’t bring them something the first time you ever visiting their house, it’s rude. And it’s the same in business if you don’t bring if you’re visiting, so I worked for a company where I was, had to do some work in Brazil and I would go down there. And if you didn’t bring like a box of something famous from America, like Hawaiian chocolates, if you’re from Hawaii, or something that represents it doesn’t have to be expensive, doesn’t have to be just has to be thought out, then it was kind of seen as you were, oh, he doesn’t really want to be here. He doesn’t want to be my friend. And so in the Brazilian culture, it’s, it’s important to be a friend first, before you talk business, right? And then in other places, those exact opposite. So I’ve done business in Germany, and that’s the last thing you would ever do is bring a gift to someone in Germany as an opening. And so they’re just little things that yeah, that’s, that’s that’s a different process. But so then the the sales tactic, I guess it’s called a tactic because it’s not really a strategy or methodology. It’s just something you do. And it’s a way to get to a certain point of where you can have a conversation. So it’s a conversation opener, right. And in different places, you have to do it differently. But the real differences in international business, I thought, what I found is your internal team, and how they respond to leaders, and how they respond to leadership. So I’ve had teams where I had a team of people that was 10 or so people were based in Costa Rica, and we were an American company. And the way they approached problems was, it was very, very much Hey, we have to solve the problem before we’re allowed to tell our boss about the problem. So let’s solve the problem and then go tell our boss about the problem. They wanted to make sure they were seen as smart and seen as proactive, and seen as doing a good job and not wanting to burden the boss. Whereas I’ve managed teams in other parts of the world where their first job is because they’re so afraid to make a mistake, they do the opposite, they’ll come to the boss first, where they don’t want to make a mistake. So they’ll come to the boss first and say, hey, what should we do? And then they’ll go do and they’ll do a great job once you tell them what to do. So there’s the internal kind of culture is more, I think, has a bigger effect on how you sell often than the external culture.
Fred Rocafort 11:58
Mareo, I’d like to dig deeper into into this topic. But there’s there’s so much that I’d like to cover that I’m going to keep keep going. But maybe perhaps later, we can we can come back to to this, this topic, which which is fascinating. I think, for me, in particular, having had the opportunity to, to live overseas and work with people across cultures. Definitely. There’s there’s very specific relevance to that. But I think just just more broadly, right? It’s, it’s it’s a fascinating, fascinating topic. But yeah, I’d like to focus on on your industry, and your work with move medical, you’ve told us a little bit about what the what the company does. But I’d like to learn a little bit more about the challenges that you’re addressing with with your products. I mean, I think we all are most of us can have a general understanding of what medical devices are and and what they do. But perhaps few of us know the kinds of issues that might come up other other than the obvious, right? Like something doesn’t, doesn’t work. But I’m sure that it’s more complex than that. So so please tell us about the big picture in terms of what what issues off? Which are the the most common issues? And how does your work? How does your company How do your products help help address those?
Mareo McCracken 13:32
Yeah. So in the medical device space, the the products are amazing, they’re incredible. They’re designed by really, really smart people, and they do their job really, really well. The problem though, in the industry, the biggest problem is getting the right product to the right place at the right time. And it seems like this should be an easy problem to solve. Because you have Walmart supply chain, you have Amazon supply chain, and they can solve things really, really easy. And McKinsey just came out with a study that in the implantable medical device supply chain maybe a couple years ago, they came out to study that there’s over $5 billion in annual waste in the supply chain, that if they could solve these problems, it would Yeah, raise $5 million of waste and that waste could be in over overtime. It could be an overage in shipping charges. It could be in throwing away expired inventory. There’s lots of different areas ways to count waste, right? But the example you can think about is if you’re going to have a knee surgery, they’re going to, let’s say new knee implant for somebody that blew out their knee and they need a brand new knee, they’re going to bring in $100,000 worth of equipment, knees implants tools to cover that knee surgery, only $5,000 of it is going to get implanted into the patient. You don’t know which 5000 is going to get implanted though until the patient’s cut open. To make that more complex after the surgery is over that $95,000 worth of stuff has to go somewhere else and if not probably back to where it came from. And there’s different ownership models where the hospital might own some of that inventory. A distributor might own some of that inventory. And so the inventory issues are pretty complex because there’s lots of ownership models and there’s lots of inventory that goes from place to place and so lots of different companies have tried to solve this they said, oh, let’s use rental software from a car rental because it goes back and forth to different places. So we could do that. But the problem is when you return a rented car, you don’t return it without the steering wheel, what are you going to do with a car that doesn’t have a student but you start to use it for the next surgery even if it doesn’t have the steering wheel and that doesn’t work for so rental car software doesn’t work. And er P is like SAP or Oracle? They weren’t designed to do this. And so they’ve been corrupted or Frankenstein banded together to try to solve this problem, but it’s never worked. And so move medical our whole objective is to build software that solves this specific challenge.
Fred Rocafort 15:44
That’s pretty interesting, right? I think I’m not the only one who’s experienced the frustrations of having to use software that’s not designed for for what you’re doing. Yeah, I remember many many years ago I was working at a relatively small company and they invested in pretty pretty sophisticated client relationship management software that simply didn’t didn’t fit our needs it would have been perhaps appropriate for for for a larger Corporation but but not for us and then I remember you know, in the end, no one was using it right it was just you know, more than half the fields were irrelevant fields that we needed were not there so you we had to over rely on on notes you know, so so so i can i thanks for that explanation, I think that you really did a great job there of explaining what the what what the issues are and how, how you combat those.
Mareo McCracken 16:54
Yeah, using CRM in general is never fun or easy for anybody in any industry, but if it’s not built for what you’re doing, it’s even it’s 10 times worse. So yeah, that’s a good example.
Fred Rocafort 17:03
One more while we’re on the subject when I was working as a as a Foreign Service officer, we had some let’s just say less than stellar software that we would use for for our for our work doing with with visa interviews and applications generally and I remember going to the training session and they remember there was this little box and it said well, if you encounter fake documents or fraudulent documents, be sure you know be sure to check this box and of course then I went to the China to to work as a consular officer there and pretty much all of the cases where where we denied the the applicant involved, fraudulent documents It was a very important part of the problem it wasn’t just some sort of peripheral issue that that we were that we were facing it was actually a fundamental problem but it’s also I always think of that right when you think and that and of course the bottom line is you have people who aren’t doing the interviews who maybe go out and spend a week somewhere observing the process and then they go back and design the software and of course if you’re a consultant asked by the State Department to come up with software for for consular activities and they say you know, choose an embassy or consulate and you can go there for a week well chances are you’re going to look for a place with good beaches and good weather not necessarily the the the posts were the real issues are coming up right so warnings to those wanting to get software designed for their activities.
Mareo McCracken 18:58
That’s a great example Yeah, so many, we could talk for days about 10 100 points that you just mentioned in your story.
Jonathan Bench 19:07
So Mareo, let’s talk about sales in general you know, when we all reflect on it, we’re all doing sales in every aspect of our business right whether it’s internal sales to try and get a promotion to try and get a project through to try and get help on a project we’re doing or externally to to customers and clients. Of course a lot of times if we just focus on the sales and the typical salesperson you know is focused on getting the sale completed right i mean i i’ve been in sales not as long as you have but I’ve done a fair share of sales businesses and I have to say that I was mostly focused on selling and upselling and not on not on doing anything else right trying to fill my pocket make sure I could I could pay my bills. What do you have to say to address and then this gets into into what you covered in your book as well. So feel free to drop anything in you’d like but what is what what advice you have for all of us who are really engaged in sales, you know, how should we think about ourselves? So we can look ourselves in the mirror every day.
Mareo McCracken 20:06
Yeah, that’s a tough one especially, it’s really, really hard if you don’t think the product you have or what you’re trying to offer is going to help someone. So it becomes the opposite of super, super easy to be in sales, if you really believe what you’re doing is going to help people. So if you’re fighting for that promotion internally, or you’re trying to get an idea pushed across, that’s going to help your company and you’re trying to get this initiative done, then it’s actually usually pretty easy to sell it and get behind it because you believe in it. And that’s the same in traditional sales to if you believe in the product, that it’s going to actually help the person that they’re going to be better off for talking with you, then doing everything else becomes that much easier. But as far as sales itself, the reason people are salespeople are considered slimy or selfish or sleazy right, is because salespeople in general are paid wrong, they’re paid for transactions. And so the relationship becomes a transactional relationship. And because people who pay are do what they’re paid to do most of the time. And so if they’re paid to be a transactional salesperson, they’re going to be a transactional salesperson. So if you don’t, if you pay them for long term results, then they would drive long term results based on how they’re paid. And so compensation is a big issue in the sales industry, that makes people do things they probably want to do to their mother, or to their sister, if they weren’t paid to do that.
Fred Rocafort 21:33
Mareo following up on this, one thing that I’ve always felt and and I think that when it comes to sales, I’ve always felt there is a very strong connection between how your work as a salesperson manifests itself. And the product that you’re that you’re selling. I experienced this early on in my career when I worked in environments where there was a lot of pressure on on me and my colleagues to to to sell. Yeah, and of course, it’s it’s, I remember thinking, and I think there was something to be said about my own efforts and my own expertise as it was developing. I was very young back then. But I do remember thinking along the way, many times like, well, if I was selling something, something else, if I was selling something better than then that would that would surely that would surely help. And one, one example that I that I encounter of this. I remember meeting, someone who worked for one of the large aircraft manufacturers in charge of their China sales, and I thought, well, Yeah, no kidding. I mean, if you’re working, if you’re selling a product, where you have essentially one competitor, and, and and even then, right, I mean, it’s your your product is still pretty, pretty unique in some ways, then yeah, sure. I mean, you’re, you’re gonna do you know, the product kind of sells itself, you know, so. So I guess I guess that’s really where I’m going with this. I mean, there are products that that sell themselves. But I was wondering if you could if you could speak to this a little bit, right, and perhaps keeping in mind, those members of the audience who, who might be in a position where, where they, where they have to sell, and may be struggling with these issues, I mean, perhaps maybe some words of encouragement for for these folks to help them understand that look, there are going to be tasks that you face as a salesperson that that are going to be tough, right? Just because of what you’re what you’re selling. And it may not be a reflection of your own abilities and your own drive.
Mareo McCracken 24:04
Yeah. So in the sales world, there’s pros and cons for every single product that you’re going to be required to sell. And so if the sale is a product where there’s not much differentiation, and there’s lots of competitors out there, and maybe your product isn’t better than anybody else’s, that almost always translates into it’s an easy sale, it’s a one call close or two call close, where you don’t have to invest tons of time to get one sale. Whereas the airplane sale that salesperson might get one sale every four years or five years. And so it’s just a different environment. And so you in that regard, you just have to look at what type of environment Do you work better in some people can’t work in long sales cycles, they don’t have the patience or their their personality just doesn’t fit right. And other people, they can’t do the opposite. They they have to have to be something that’s very patient and slow or they get flustered. And they can’t work in an environment. But the other side of it is usually it’s the pressure, or it could be positive or negative is often coming from your boss, or the top down, where they’re pressuring you to sell. And then you have to hit those numbers or you can’t feed your family, right? And I think in that regard, it comes down to how do you look at the pressure and what is it doing to you, and then you can go back to your purpose and your why and that’s really hard in sales when Hey, I have to sell this deal, or I’m not gonna be able to feed my family next week, right? So it’s very hard to look at that and then do it the right job. But I, I always take it back to something in a sports environment, when, when a football coach says run harder, he’s not telling you to run harder, just so you get more tired, he’s actually telling you to run harder. So you can either get to the ball first or you so you can make a block that you’re supposed to make. There’s a reason why you’re pushing hard is to do something else. And so if you can put the Stephen r covey talk, Stephen Covey talks about putting the end in mind, right, where you put the end first. And so if you know why you’re doing what you’re doing, and why you’re working so hard, it makes getting there a tad bit easier. And yeah, sales is really hard and often can be demoralizing. And what makes a good salesperson great is their resilience, their ability to overcome rejection, or overcome the word no. And the reason though, they have the ability to overcome that isn’t just because they’re resilient, it’s because there’s some foundation that’s driving them beyond that. So people that are abilities have the ability to overcome No, and say, someday, eventually, I’m going to be able to help you, then they’re the ones they usually do the best. And that’s hard, a hard mindset to get into. But if you can talk yourself into that mindset, that you’re going to help people, then it becomes much easier to do your job and then to do everything else that’s there surrounds the job, lots of those mundane tasks that maybe you don’t like to do.
Jonathan Bench 26:48
I think there’s a metaphor for parenting in there. Right? You and I both have a lot of kids. And you know, kids are the same, because they want to ask you why, right? And even when you think you’ve given them a great answer for why right? You try, you try to get them to the end and say, Okay, this is why we’re spending today helping, like my kids, I took him to my sister’s house, and we helped her paint her her house that she’s renovating. I said, this is why we’re spending our Saturday helping our sister paint the house rather than playing that, because there are certain things that are more important than playing all the time. And so I have to, you know, rather than when I’m a being in a bad parent mode, then I will say just because you could just go do it. Okay, I don’t I don’t, I don’t need you to question me, I told you to paint that corner, come back when it’s done, right? Rather than that, when I can when I can step back and be patient and say, Look, do you remember why we’re here? What are we what are we doing this for? Why does it matter? And let them figure it out on their own and go back and complete their task? I mean, that that’s powerful, you know, in all kinds of ways. But I’m very, very good at forgetting the easy easier. Let’s say it’s the less resistant road to to helping people figure it out. Why why we’re here what we’re doing. So let’s turn topics together. Oh, go ahead. Go ahead.
Mareo McCracken 28:08
No, yeah, there’s a lot of similarities. I can see the connections for sure.
Jonathan Bench 28:13
So let’s, I’m curious about this. What are your thoughts? My, my, I asked you this question. Because my brother in law’s father has been in sales his whole life. He started out selling suits. And then he moved to cars, and now he sells houses. And he has consistently been the top performer wherever he has been a salesperson. And he is one of the most reserved, quiet spoken, but also very, I can tell he’s a thoughtful person, right? He can you comment a little bit on the types of personalities you run into? I mean, if we’re all if we all have to sell, we have to find a way for all the different types of personalities to be comfortable selling, right? Whether it’s internally, whether it’s across cultures, for a lot of us, right, who are in the international space, that can you comment a little bit on, on what it takes to find your niche, like we all have different learning capabilities and learning methods. what’s what’s the right way to think about how we should approach sales from different personality styles.
Mareo McCracken 29:11
So Dan Pink actually wrote a great book, almost on this whole topic called to sell is human. And no, he talks about that everybody thinks that extroverts should be the best salespeople. That’s what you think I’m on TV shows or movies you think of extroverts are salespeople. And the really, there’s a third, there’s extroverts and introverts, but that personality type that typically has the best results are ambiverts. But that’s not actually a real personality type. It’s a mix between extrovert and introvert. But what it means is that you can mimic the person that you’re working with, in order not to the point to manipulate them in a negative way, but to help them feel connected to you. So if you’re calm and reserved, but you need to pick up the enthusiasm just a little bit so the other person doesn’t think you’re not interested. Then you can do that if you have to. Or if you’re usually a little too excited, you can tone it down a little bit. And so the other person doesn’t get put off by your personality, right. And the ability to read a room and then adjust how you speak and how you present yourself is pretty important. But I wouldn’t even say that’s the most important, the most important, I think, is if you actually want to solve that person’s problem, and you take a thoughtful approach, whether you do it really fast or excitedly, or you’re very reserved how you do it, you can be thoughtful and excited, or you can be thoughtful, and very calm, or you can be the opposite, you can be super slow and calm and not thinking about anything, you can just be daydreaming, right. So it just depends on the foundational approach that you’re taking. And if you’re thoughtful, and care about the other person, that’s the personality that usually wins.
Fred Rocafort 30:51
Mareo, in addition to being an avid reader, as you have made clear, you’re also you’re also a writer, you have a new book coming out, titled really care for them how everyone can use the power of caring to earn trust, grow sales and increase income, no matter what you sell. Tell us about the book. And in addition to telling us about the subject matter, I think both both of us would love to hear more about the the process. I mean, I sometimes have fleeting dreams of becoming a writer, whether as a as something I do on the side, or perhaps even you know, joining the joining the ranks of the of the literati. But of course, I have no idea what actually goes into, into writing a book. So I’d like to know more about this. What kind of time do you have to put into it? How much of your time is actually spent writing as opposed to researching and getting the material that you need? What about the editing process? And, and also, just from, from a business perspective, how do you publish a book, right? I mean, writing it is one thing, but how do you how do you get it out there?
Mareo McCracken 32:07
Well, yeah, that’s. So there’s a lot of ways to go when writing a book and how you want to get it out there. And some people write the wrap the whole idea plan, they write an outline, and they they write the book, and then they submit it to publishers and try to get it published, or self publishing, there’s lots of ways to get the book out there. The way that my book came about was a little more kind of organic slash, my wife told me to do it, type deal where I was reading a lot. And then people would ask me, Hey, what’s the best book I should be reading for this topic, or this topic or this topic. So I started publishing an annual top 10 list of the Top 10 books I read that year. So usually read a little over 100 books a year. And then I would say, these were the top 10 of the books that I read. And then I always took notes if something was important, so my phone was full, full of notes of anything important. If I was listening on Audible, I positive I was at the gym working out. And then I would really try to write down a few notes of what I just listened to just so I could go back to it later. If I had to write so I was always taking notes. And then because so many people were asking me, I started publishing kind of a daily blog. So for the last four years, I’ve published something every single day, four and a half years or so. And every single day is just basically Hey, what did I learn that day. And so I published what I learned that day, just one, maybe maybe one sentence, maybe a whole paragraph. And then during COVID, I was at the point where Hey, I, I was reading a lot, but none of the people I would recommend books to actually read the books I recommended. And I was like, You even have more time to read now that you’re at home, how come nobody’s out, as I told you, he asked me what book I should read, because I have this problem in my sales career. And I told you, and how come you didn’t read it, it was really kind of interesting. But the culture toward how we accept knowledge and how we learn is totally changed, right? Twitter, even on LinkedIn, you see that you if you don’t put spacing between each sentence on your LinkedIn posts, it’s not going to get read. If you write a full paragraph on a LinkedIn post, it’s not going to get read. And Twitter or even YouTube videos, anything longer than 15 minutes almost doesn’t get watched on YouTube. So even the biggest YouTube stars, they’re kind of cutting back on their content, making way more videos rather than making long videos. And so I decided, you know, I have all this, these this information that I’ve read that I’ve taken notes on. And I think it would be a good idea to share it in a way that’s easy for people to understand and learn. That’s why I talked to my wife about it. She’s like, yeah, of course, you should have done that a few years ago. So why haven’t you done it yet. So I got all my notes together. And so I’ve been taking notes now for 810 years or whatever, on sales stuff. So for me, it wasn’t about the idea of writing a book, I was taking notes and I just had to sift through the notes and put together what I thought were I guess the 100 most important lessons a salesperson should know. And that’s kinda how I put the book together and I wanted it to be in an easily readable format. So not too much content, not too much too many paragraphs. A lots of this is exactly what you need to know. And if you want to go study, you can go study later on your own, you can go read this book, read this book and study it. But this is the principle that you should study and learn. And after that, you can figure out how to take a deeper study. So it’s not very deep, in a sense that each topic isn’t covered deeply. But the principles, I would consider true principles to being able to increase your ability to build trust with people. And how I went about publishing it was I submitted, so there’s a few different ways to go about it. So some people go back and get an agent, and then that agent submits proposals for them. And that agent kind of gets them a book deal. And they do that. And that’s the most traditional way. Another way is to submit your own manuscript to agents, or to publishing houses, and then they would publish it, and then you still, then you have to do a ton of work. And then there’s what they call hybrid publishers, where you write everything and pay a publishing company a bunch of money, and then they get that book published for you. But it’s more, you own the rights to the book, rather than the publishing company, and you paid them for all their work. So then there’s no skin off their game. And then there’s hybrid of hybrid where it’s kind of like a joint effort where you don’t have to pay them anything. But you still have to do a lot of the work yourself. And that’s the route I took with Morgan James. They’re a hybrid of a hybrid. So they’re as close to a traditional publishing house as you can get without being a traditional because I wanted to keep the copyright to my work. And so on the editing side, instead of them doing the editing, I had to hire my own editor to edit for me, and those kind of things. But they put together the cover, they put together the they design the interior, and based on what I kind of told them how I wanted to design, and they’re getting it into the bookstores and those kind of things. And then I’m doing all the digital marketing online while they’re getting into the physical bookstore. So that’s kind of a partnership I have with Morgan, James.
Jonathan Bench 36:56
That’s fascinating. I’m like, Fred, I suppose those of us who grew up reading a lot and think we might have something to contribute think that we’ll have time to write at some point, I guess I think after my kids get out of the house, but I keep having kids. So I don’t know what I’m going to be able to do that I guess I either have to give up my exercise regime in the morning, or just discipline myself to writing in discrete chunks. When you were writing this or putting it together? How much time would you say you spent in aggregate? And what would that break down to? And did you do it on the weekends? Do you do it in the mornings before work? How did you break up the actual work you needed to put into to do this?
Mareo McCracken 37:33
Yes, so since most of my research was done, that saved a lot of time, if I had to do all the research from the ground up, that probably would have taken a lot more time. But over a three month window, I put an hour a day in the morning, an hour a day at night, and then maybe a couple hours on a Saturday, two or three hours on Saturday. And I did that for about three months to get everything the way I wanted it. And that was the initial sprint. And but if I had to do the initial research, it would have taken probably a lot longer than that. But the research was already done. Mainly.
Jonathan Bench 38:08
I published, I wrote what I would consider a book chapter on on acquiring a cannabis business for Thomson Reuters. I think it was just last month. Yeah. So and that was I think it was only 22 pages by the time I finished. And it was a lot of work. The writing initially was a lot of work the and then the drafting and redrafting coming back and versions was was exhausting, too. And I thought, you know, maybe I’m not cut out for this author stuff. Because I, once I get my words on a page, I don’t really want to think about this much anymore, unless I have you know, a month gap or something or two month gap to put into it. So we’ll see. I mean, I think that, you know, starting as a lot of people have said starting is the first is the first thing right? Get something down on paper like you you were doing take notes, eventually you’ll feel like Well, I’ve got time to do this. And I think it’s the way with any anything that we pursue now. I mean, a lot of us are our middle age, some of our listeners are quite young, a lot we’ve got a few law students who tuned into this. And I talked to law students a lot about the process of becoming an international lawyer what it took how much work how many how many turns and u turns and n corner turns I had to make to get to where I am now and and even now trying to figure out day to day what’s the best way to go forward? And and I think there is a lot of value. And I think I’ve said this before Fred, a lot of value just into putting in the work. You know, you work and you work and in the work you find you find your way. And if you if you’re kind of hamstrung by sitting on your chair and trying to figure out I don’t want to make any missteps. I think that that paralysis is really is really what gets us when when we want to start doing anything.
Mareo McCracken 39:48
Yeah, no, you’re 100% right, Jonathan?
Jonathan Bench 39:51
Mareo I think Fred wanted to touch base on the question we had talked about earlier. Fred, do you want to do you want to re re engage with that person About I think the the idea of working across cultures certainly is, is very relevant in what we’re doing. But I think we’ve got a little bit of time before we get to the last question.
Fred Rocafort 40:11
Sure. So perhaps what we can do I mean, you you offer some some examples, you know, gifts, for example, the differing attitudes towards gifts, I always I always find the concrete examples are really, really the best way to or often the best way to approach a topic. So do you have another or more than one example that you can offer of things you you noticed? And we can sort of, we can sort of build on that? I will, I will say well, one one thing you know, when you were when you were talking about the way the way things worked with with Costa Rica, right? People want to solve the problem before they they take it to their boss, I was thinking like, Well, I hope I got I hope I hope we don’t find ourselves with a with a lot of applications for for jobs by cluster Regan’s because I can definitely see how how are our own leadership with would love to have employees like that, that come to them with with a ready made made solution. But But in all seriousness, having having spent a lot of time in, in Asia, I certainly worked with many, many supervisors, many bosses who would not appreciate that they would they would say no, I mean, that’s what that’s the reason I’m here, you come to me with, you know, don’t you come to me with a problem? And I’ll all take care of it. Right? So definitely, that that that attitude is out there, but perhaps, just to give some some more color to this conversation? Could you? Could you give us some some additional examples of I mean, I’m, yeah, I always. And one thing, you know, just just one more thing I, every once in a while, right, whether it’s reading a magazine, especially these airline magazines, you run across these little, you know, a little summary. So, you know, doing business in Japan, you know, they have like a few bullet points, I always find those fascinating, right. And, and even though they they tend to be in some cases, perhaps a little a little simplistic, I think, still, there’s something to be learned there, right. And like you said, you know, you can always look into it a little bit deeper. And it may not be, there might be more nuance to it than then you find in, you know, in the three bullet points on the Delta Airlines magazine, but it is the starting point, right. And there’s usually some some truth to it. But but but again, maybe we can we can talk about some other manifestations of these differences between cultures.
Mareo McCracken 42:50
Yeah, so I worked for a commodity trading company, and I was based in London at the time. And I spent a lot of time in Israel for a project I was on. And this it was was, was pretty profound for me when I realized this that how you got to know someone in England at least, and build trust in the company I was in and I don’t know if it’s a British culture, the promise stereotypes is they’re usually true. The problem that I found, though, was, I don’t know if there’s a British thing, because I spent when I lived, I spent so much time working, I didn’t actually get to know anybody outside of my company, really, I was working sunup to sundown, I was in the office, and then everybody would have to go to the pub. And if you didn’t go to the pub afterwards, you got fired, right. So it was it was a different experience. So I didn’t get to know anybody outside my office. But everybody at the office when I was in London, the only way to build trust really was to tell stories of how you were successful in previous work experiences. They didn’t care about your life outside of work. And so you told stories, work stories, and then at the bar after work after 8pm, and everybody goes to the pub, you told more stories about work at the pub, whereas in Israel, it was the exact opposite. They would be working the whole day together. And not once would they talk about work the whole day. And they couldn’t and if you started talking about work, they would answer in one or two word sentences and then go back to something else and ask you questions about something else. And they never wanted to hear about your work experiences if you brought up work experience and yeah, that’s kind of boring. Let’s talk about something else like and they’re very abrupt about it. And for me, it was a it took me a few months to realize the difference going back and forth was like wow, this to build trust with these people. I can’t talk about work to build trust with these people. I only can talk about work. And I’m not 100% sure if it was cultural or if there’s just that environment, but I felt it was a cultural thing for me to pick that up.
Fred Rocafort 44:36
I once was involved in a in a this was before I joined the firm I was working for for a large multinational on site as a consultant on a on a project basically a worldwide project they you know, the, the the project involved that their manufacturing facility, so was most of the locations were were in emerging economies, right? So so I didn’t have the full breadth of countries to to compare, but something very similar to what you described happened. A lot of the work we did was was in Asia and, and even in, irrespective of the country, very often there would be a very strong, most of the people we were dealing with, even across countries, a lot of the people we were dealing with were either Chinese or Taiwanese, or from Hong Kong or Korean, there was, I would say, probably 70 80% of the people we were working with were, belong to one of those nationalities. And in those cases, it was it was really all about work, right? And we’d get in, in the mornings, and, you know, I’m a bit of a slow starter in the mornings, and you’d I would sit down, you know, these, some of these countries, it’s impossible to get a good cup of coffee. So you know, that you’ve got that deficit, that caffeine deficit working, you know, I had that working against me. And right away, they, you know, they just want to revisit what we were talking about the day before. Very little, I mean, at lunch, it’s the same thing. And then I had the opportunity to, to travel to South America as part of that, that project, and it’s, it’s 180 degree difference. And I would find myself having these these great conversations with with the people with whom we were dealing with, about all sorts of things, you know, and in a few days, I would get to know these people, their families, they would start telling me about, you know, the place is like, Oh, you know, next time you come, we can go here, you know, we’ll, we’ll take you to see this. The second time I went, you know, it’s all but we’re already at that level, where it’s like, oh, you know, give me a hug, you know, good to see you. Again, that never happened in in, in Asia. I mean, we would go to some of these places three, four times, and it was still all very, very formal, right. So so like you said, I mean, I think that one has to be careful, right? I mean, we can’t, you can’t always generalize, because there are exceptions. But there there is something to do to stereotypes. And it’s always fascinating, right to delve into that. Not too long ago, Jonathan and I interviewed someone from the UK, who had the opportunity to live in, in in Australia and the US and I thought her her insight was fascinating, right describing she was contrasting the way things are in Australia, as opposed to, to the US in the UK, which, as I recall, she found to be relatively similar in some ways, although, again, they do have the, the pub culture, I’ve never, I’ve never worked in the UK. I was a student there. But I have worked with a lot of Brits and and yeah, like the things that you’re describing, do resonate, right. It’s a lot of and the when you when you were when you were talking about there, you know, have them regaling you with their success stories at other at other jobs, and then I might you know, that I had that flashback. And I’m like, Yeah, I That’s right. All those stories I had to listen to about, you know, the glory days at the the crown courts in, in unnamed British city. First, for sure, for sure. That’s um, Well, anyway, a topic that we could we could continue talking about, I think we’re probably it’s time to start wrapping up. But we don’t want to let you go. Of course, without asking for recommendations. I’m going to take the liberty of including your book in those those recommendations. So you can’t take the easy way out and just recommend your book, you’re going to have to give us at least another recommendation.
Mareo McCracken 49:11
Yeah. So if you’re in like hardcore sales, a good book is called sell different. It actually doesn’t get released till next month in September. It gets released Actually, this month in September, but I got an early copy. And I really liked this by Lee sales. But I really liked that book. It’s just basically how to differentiate yourself from other companies that you might be going against for the same customers. And I really like that one. But a book that I think is for everybody, no matter what your profession gay, Hendricks wrote a couple books that I really like one was called the big leap. But he wrote a book called conscience conscious luck. And it’s basically instead of thinking of luck is this abstract thing it’s something that you can create yourself by doing certain things. And while it’s a little out there kind of in some ways I thought it’s it’s really can bring the idea of choosing how you respond to certain situations like Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl to a more modern day approach to it in a more kind of easier way to understand rather than having to read a complex chapter book, it’s it’s more, it’s more accessible and so conscious luck by Gay Hendricks is a book that I think lots of people could benefit from.
Fred Rocafort 50:23
I know a lot of people don’t like the character, but I remember in Titanic, I forget the name of the character. I don’t even remember the author’s the actor’s name at the moment. But he was Leonardo DiCaprio, his rival for the affection of Yeah, I’m blanking out on all the all the names of the actors. But I remember there was a scene where I think this is when they everybody was boarding the lifeboats. And then I think he bought his way onto onto a lifeboat. And, you know, he said something to the effect of, I make my own luck, right. So it does, it does remind me of that. And I know, I know that in the movie, that was supposed to be a bad thing. And well, ultimately, things don’t work out for him. But But I always, for me, that that, that, that that phrase stuck with me? And I do think that no doubt, I mean, they’re very often right, in, you know, to kind of moving away from from pop culture, but I do think, and I don’t know if this is the sort of the sort of thing that the book addresses, but I do think we are putting it out, you know, looking at it at a personal level, right? I’ve had conversations with friends, and I’m sure we’ve all had, right you you talked to, to your friend and or, you know, it’s it might be me saying this, or it might be my friend saying it, but you often hear that like, well, it’s I just had really bad luck. And then often when you start breaking it down, it’s like, well, how much of it was really bad luck? And how much was it that you just didn’t prepare? Right? I mean, you know, how many times was you know, bad luck when you took an exam really a reflection of not having studied enough, not having prepared enough, right? Not, you know, not having us. Speaking of cultural differences, I remember I have a few German friends. And one of them one time, made this very categoric statement, he said, There’s never an excuse to be late. And of course, you know, one of my friends, you know, was, of course, trying to prove No, no, no, no, that’s, that’s, you can’t say that, because you there are always going to be occasions when you can’t control things. But this guy just kept coming back, like, No, you just you just plan ahead. And finally, my friend said, Well, tell you what, what if you’re on your way to work, and you uronic you know, you run into a friend of yours that you haven’t seen in 20 years. And and you know, you just talked to the guy and you’re, you know, for 10 minutes, five minutes, and that just makes you be late. And then this guy said, well, that’s why we Germans always plan for this and we leave earlier than we need to so that if we run into a we run into an old friend, well, who will have time right so again, I I certainly don’t abide by that, by that philosophy. But there is some truth right in the the fact that we’re in the assertion that you can, there’s a lot you can do to make to make your own luck, right?
Mareo McCracken 53:28
Yeah, no, that’s a good story. Yeah. And I think in general, and for most people, you know that a lot there’s always going to be extenuating circumstances like if there’s a drunk driver runs a red light and hits you it wasn’t your fault, and you couldn’t plan for a drunk driver hitting you. Even if you left two hours early for an interview, right? Like there’s some things that you can’t plan for or if you’re a woman in Afghanistan, right now, it’s gonna be kind of hard. It’s not your fault that you did anything wrong that right. But overall, in general, if it’s something in your control, you can create your own luck. If it’s out of your control, then you can’t create your own luck then there’s no reason to worry about it. But yeah, so that’s kind of how it works.
Fred Rocafort 54:03
Jonathan, what about you I actually I must I must admit I I was curious as we were getting ready for the for the podcast, I saw your your, your recommendation, I copy pasted and then took a quick look at it looks looks really good. But But let me give you the chance to describe your recommendation.
Jonathan Bench 54:28
Yeah, so this is a kind of a longer article written by Stanford Business professor named Joel Peterson. He titled this My Road to Cancellation. It’s an article in the Deseret News. And I like this article, because it is part of the greater conversation that we’re having right now, especially in the United States, about what happens when you run into someone who you consider their viewpoints to completely intolerable. Right. And so my as I’ve discussed, I think multiple times with you Fred and certainly on the podcast. I have a hard time with chord, right? Not the not the app, but discord in anywhere I am right. It just doesn’t sit well with me. And so I’m the person who if my friends are fighting, I want to mediate between them. Right? And that’s probably why I became a business lawyer is because this is where I feel comfortable right? In do people bring me their issues, and I try to help them figure it out. And often we have acrimony on both sides of what we’re doing. And so I have a, I have a hard time with, you know, there are people who are going to have reprehensible viewpoints, right, that are just plain out crazy or wrong. factually inaccurate. And but even if they want to do that, right, I mean, I think our First Amendment is the first amendment because it’s, it’s really important, right? And, and the fact that if we decide that we want to shut down everyone who has an unpopular opinion, then you know that that’s the start of what some assert to be a totalitarian regime, right. And we don’t want to be on either side of it, I don’t care if your left or right, I don’t care what your politics are, that having, having your own viewpoints challenged is a healthy place to be. And and if you think that it’s better to have everyone canceled, who disagrees with you, then then I don’t necessarily agree with that. I’m not gonna say you should be canceled. But I’m going to say, you know, let’s have some introspection and let’s, let’s talk a little more about why you have this viewpoint. Explain to me where your justification is, and and let your, you know, your viewpoint should be able to stand on its own two feet, right? That you should, if it is the best viewpoint, then everyone else should be able to recognize that we have to kind of agree with everyone’s ability to rationally understand what the world going on around them. And I know it’s hard, you know, the world’s so big and complicated now, but that’s where I fit in. And a lot of times, that’s why I haven’t taken, I haven’t taken a stance on a lot of things at this point in my life. Because a, I don’t like going into the fray. And be I mean, I want to spend the time. I mean, this is my exercise time I’m giving up right? And we put in long days as lawyers, at the end of the day, do I want to delve into this social issue, do I want to exercise and really, the exercise and the endorphins I get from that is probably going to help me deal with the stress of my life and the stress of the world better than and weighing in and reading someone else’s opinion for two hours. But I’ve still forced myself to do that, right, I still forced myself to read articles from what I would consider very far right, very far left, because for me, I want to understand where everyone’s coming from, because I may have to mediate in between them at some point. And I want to make sure that I understand in a fair way where everyone’s coming from. So that’s why I picked that article. And it’s a little bit of my own my own middle of the road politics for you, Fred. And what’s your recommendation, Fred?
Fred Rocafort 57:37
So my recommendation is, and it’s a very emphatic one, I just finished watching Netflix this series on a 911 and the war on terror called Turning Point 911 and the war on terror. It is it is it’s fantastic. I breezed through it one of the interesting things was watching the the first couple of episodes that that really focus on the events of September 11. And obviously this is it was nothing new in the in the sense that that I you know, I’m old enough to to clearly remember what happened that day, but there was there was it was still the impact of the images and and the way they were put together they just they managed is they just really managed to, to present things in a way that that that even for a print event like this right that it’s been has been present in our in our lives for the last 20 years. They still managed to tease out some some emotional responses and it was useful for me or I should say it was interesting I was watching with with my wife who who’s you know, she’s she’s, she’s from Taiwan she and younger. So that has different perspective. So right on and obviously this I mean, this was a big deal worldwide, but obviously, it was different in Asia. So it was it was interesting, too. To talk through things and explain what it was like I mean I found myself remembering a lot of a lot of the emotions that that that that were felt that day, you know and just because what they do is they do this basically this minute by minute retelling of what happened on September 11. And I i remember i i remember how that went you know and i mean i’m not not to not to not to get sidetracked here but I you might remember when when the first plane hit. It wasn’t clear that it was a terrorist attack. There were people thought well maybe just some accident some some guy in a small plane that hit the tower. And they actually show you know that that’s how it was presented to President Bush, you know, that was, you know, they they stayed they have a picture of them when they found out but at that point they they were like everyone else they just didn’t know the magnitude of what happened. And then of course later they they were told and I remember Yeah, that was exactly how it went when when we heard of that second attack. That’s when everybody thought, Wait a minute, this is this is this is something a lot more sinister here. So absolutely fantastic. You know, you know, it’s obviously it’s not an easy watch. And of course there’s a lot of content on Afghanistan. And that’s that’s very tough to I mean, it’s it’s ultimately a bit of a sad story all around, right? Because it’s, it’s, you know, the timing of it is is is is it makes it makes for for for for for a tough watch. But again, turning point 911 on the war on terror. Fantastic. Great job by by Netflix. So with that. Thank you Mareo for your recommendations. Thanks, Jonathan, for your recommendations. And thank you for for coming on the podcast really, really enjoyed it.
Mareo McCracken 1:01:14
Thank you. It was it was great to talk with you guys. great conversation. Thank you.
Jonathan Bench 1:01:17
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